An In-depth Look at My Branding Process - Part 1


And a free sampler of my Brand Discovery Workbook!

Thinking about a recent post where I discussed how difficult it can be to know what questions to ask when making an enquiry, reviewing a proposal or chatting about the work you’d like to have done when it’s not your industry, I’ve decided to go a little bit deeper into my design process on the blog in a 6 part series.

I understand the struggle trying to get information out of a professional when you don’t anything about their process or work and this frustration can leave both parties exhausted. Not feeling heard or understood by a professional you’re interviewing for what you perceive to be a very important job will likely make you find someone else who coaches and guides you  in a way you understand. I know. I went through this struggle trying to find an accountant recently. After making contact with a few I was looking for guidance on what questions I should be asking after I’d supplied the necessary info. I didn’t want a few numbers that weren’t justified and I really wanted to feel safe in their knowledge.

But I didn’t. And I was so frustrated and disheartened I even handed the task off to Richard. The good news is he found me a great accountant that has managed to answer all my questions in language I understand. But it shouldn’t have been a struggle.

Reliving that now, I know I certainly don’t want to make any extraction of information a struggle with my clients. I don’t want them to be floundering in questions they don’t know how to compose. I do want them to enjoy every second of their branding experience and to be able to relax, knowing that their trust isn’t misplaced. So today I’m going to be chatting about the first 3 discovery phases of my brand styling packages - consultation, project proposal and my Brand Discovery Workbook.

1 | Consultation

This get-to-know-you phase is so exciting and I love being able to make not just a client but an awesome business friend. So after you’ve submitted an enquiry I set up a free coffee date or consultation (I have also been known to enjoy a glass of wine with a client while chatting over projects - why should we deny ourselves pleasure?!) on Skype or in person if you’re in Cape Town, South Africa.

This is really the time we can both take to get all our questions answered. I’ll want to know about your business, your projects, what you love doing and what you hate spending time on. I want to know about you, as an individual and an entrepreneur. I would love to know where you see your business going and what your short- or long-term plans are. I’d really like to know why you’d like a professionally styled brand and what you’re hoping for your business to achieve with it’s new look.

And I would like it if you didn’t know all those answers immediately. Sound weird? I’m sure it does but just because I’m asking tough questions doesn’t mean I expect you to have all the answers. It’s not a test, it’s just some food for thought to prepare you for your Brand Discovery Workbook.And you get to ask questions too, so come prepared with any you may have. Hopefully over the course of this blog series, I’ll cover most of them but I never mind answering questions about my work, my past clients and my process.

2 | Proposal

After our consultation, I’ll draw up a proposal for your project. Included in this will be a step-by-step outline of what you’re project deliverables are (what you’ll get at the end of our time together), dated milestones so you know when you’ll receive certain artwork and when you’ll need to provide feedback by. I’ll also add in a quote, breaking down your project into 4 milestone payments to make it easier for you and your business.

3 | Brand Discovery Workbook

Once you’ve approved the proposal and made your deposit payment to book your space in my design queue, I’ll send you my Brand Discovery Workbook. I guess it’s what’s technically known as client homework, although I find that’s met with some resistance and a bored expression. It’s a carefully put together document containing a questionnaire, client profile templates and some exercises to get to the very heart of your values, tone and mood. You’ll get a chance to define your stylistic preferences so you can know for sure we’re both on the same page. It is fun and although it is work (semantics) it’s a reason to go on a journey of self and brand discovery. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll find out something about yourself you didn’t know existed (or at the very least, forgot about).

I encourage all my clients to really let go and enjoy this workbook and to allow yourself to become vulnerable and honest because all your work here will become the foundation of your brand styling. Your values, dream clients and colour/texture preferences will form the basis of your logo design for good reason. It’ll be timeless, not trendy and it’ll be so originally, authentically and wholly you that your personal and business brand merge seamlessly, allowing you to attract your tribe!

Have you worked with a professional designer to define your visual style before? Did having a thorough grasp on their design (and project) process help you make the decision to book with them? Did you feel safe knowing that their expertise was there to guide you in your project? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Don’t forget if you liked this post or any of my other posts where I chat about design and business, to share on your social media profiles and tag me so we can connect beyond the blog! I’m sharing all sorts of delicious branding projects on Instagram, crazy-useful business articles on Twitter and all things fabulously freckled on Facebook, so don’t forget to follow along with me.

If you're interested in finding out a bit more about my Brand Discovery Workbook before you book your project with me (or just to dig a little deeper into the how, why and where behind your brand), I'd love to share the first chapter with you!

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